Interpretation as a Language-Game: Between Individuality and Exemplarity

Christian Herfter, Johanna Leicht


Exemplary interpretation of a text is impossible due to the significance of the linguistic sign which is always reliant on and rooted in the individual. Nonetheless, interpretation is a common joint praxis and so is the empirical question of how the process of interpretation transcribes and how individual interpretations are allocated intersubjective meaning. In this article we describe interpreting and it's interactional order as a language-game [Sprachspiel] sensu WITTGENSTEIN (2008 [1953]) and focus on its reconstructive and constitutive rules. We demonstrate, with the help of an 11th grade literature class in a German high school, four legitimate steps that configure the language-game. By doing so we reconstruct how joint meaning is formed in a group.



interpretation; language-game; (to) show sth.; interaction analysis; teaching literature; interpreting community


Copyright (c) 2016 Christian Herfter, Johanna Leicht

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